08 October 2010
Now I'm pretty stoked that I'll be able to write my first game preview tomorrow for the first game of the season (!!!!!). So the night before our kick off to the big season celebrating 40 years gets underway, this post may make me come across as some ungrateful b-tch.
But I ask the question, why is hockey starting now?
Like why didn't it start like two weeks ago? This pre-season was even worst than last year.
Last year the Canucks had a condensed training camp in Whistler where the fans could show up and watch without having to buy tickets, a pre-season which then led to the NHL kicking off the season in Europe. Because of the Olympics the season start date was also moved up which for the Canucks that was on October 1st
This year we started off with a young stars tourney in Penticton, then a training camp and then a pre-season that seemed to drag on forever. Then a break between the pre-season and the first puck drop of the regular season comes for the Canucks on October the 9th. Quite seriously, this is ridiculous.
First off, we really could have done without the Young Stars tournament. Maybe some of you enjoyed it, but was it really needed? Or the training camp up in Penticton that they sold tickets for. I think that if you want to open up your training camp to the public, it should be free. There are things you can charge your fans for, and somethings that just don't seem justifiable.
Now with pre-season games, well, there are too many. It's as simple as that. This year there were eight pre-season games, four of which were at home. Most of the seats in GM Place are already pre-sold in the way of season tickets, ice packs and the like. Very few tickets are actually sold to the general public through Ticketmaster. So when you buy your season tickets or ice packs through the Canucks, you are required to pay for pre-season games at face value.
You can think of the pre-season two ways: either you are paying top dollar for them or that the pre-season game is creating an illusion that your regular season tickets aren't as expensive as they really are since the total cost is spread over a greater number of games. Obviously a pre-season game is not worth equal value compared to a regular season game, but it generates the same revenue in incoming ticket revenue and concession sales although the product on the ice is not of equal value.
Now maybe this is a bad comparison since the team can't even sell out their season opener (at least not as of the night before), but the Tampa Bay Lightning had only six games this year, and only one of which was at home. Perhaps the Canucks can suck up the revenue loss and be nice to their regular season ticket holders by hosting some pre-season games in small towns around BC? Sure it would be a loss in revenue since the rinks around BC don't hold fan capacity like GM Place can, but it would be a treat for out of town fans who wouldn't get to see the team play otherwise. And a treat to tickets holders of GM Place that either grumble about them or don't even bother showing up to games that are included in their ticket packs. Wishful thinking maybe.
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